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BrainDagger Films Releases Kickstarter Page, "Gelker in the Treehouse" After Discovering Costa Rican Friends in Need

Michelle and Jose in front of their treehouse with Kathryn (Movie Poster)

Michelle on the River

Teaching kids on the farm.

Michelle Gelker and Her Husband Lost Their Rafting Jobs Due to Corona. They Found a Very Inventive Solution Growing all Around Their Costa Rican Farm. Medicine.

I quit my job in the US and moved to Costa Rica where my now husband [indigenous] trained me for a year to be a whitewater rafting guide. Now we're married and have a kid.”
— Michelle Arie Gelker

CLEVELAND, OH, UNITED STATES, September 8, 2021 / -- My husband Moe and I travel the world making documentaries about thought-provoking weird science and how it can help people with the stresses of daily life. Sometimes we find a little more than we expected and produce what we call… a Braindagger Films Extra. This one’s called "Gelker in the Treehouse." We found a friend who desperately needs help with her natural medicine apothecary. Here is her amazing story and a link to help her out on kickstarter.

Michelle Arie Gelker and her husband both lost their rafting jobs in Costa Rica due to the disappearance of tourism in La Fortuna and the onset of the COVID era. However, she figured out an ingenious way to survive by using her husband's indigenous family's knowledge of plants on her farm to provide natural medicine for local residents. She is still barely scraping by enough money for her family to eat and could really use an influx of donations to buy more plants, bees for honey, and to build her farm into a tourism-friendly eco-learning experience. She needs money to build more infrastructure to make all this possible. Help her help the locals with their ailments and teach others about the wonders the Earth can provide.

We were filming a documentary on Ayuhasca in Costa Rica and met the amazing Michelle Arie Gelker and her fully grown treehouse along the way. She’s originally from Brooklyn but gave up all of her material belongings to live in a treehouse in the middle of the rain forest with a new love, her indigenous husband Jose. Fun fact, Jose planted the trees when he was little so he could use them for his treehouse’s foundation when both him, and the trees, grew up.

Michelle met Jose on a whitewater rafting tour in La Fortuna. He was her guide and she fell in love with him and rafting soon after. Eventually she left all of her personal belongings behind in America and went to Costa Rica for good. Jose trained her for a year to become a whitewater rafting guide and for a few years she was one of only five female rafting guides living in Costa Rica full time.

However, misfortune from the coronavirus stretched all the way to their jungle enclave but they found a way to survive with some ingenuity and perseverance.

When corona came to town, all tourism vanished and Michelle and Jose were stuck in a treehouse with a newborn baby in the middle of the rain forest with no income and teetering on the edge of survival.

Michelle learned from Jose's indigenous family about the medicinal properties of plants on the farm and realized there was money to be made selling natural medicine at the local farmer's market. They put together 60+ medicinal products for everything from diabetes to muscle balm and have been earning a small income for the last year. Locals simply can't afford prescription drugs so this provides a lifeline of support for many.

The apothecary business is bringing in enough money to survive off of but they still need all the help they can get. Three generations live on the farm with only one pension and the apothecary business to live off.

She wants to expand her apothecary inventory with more plants, bees for honey and start a program for local children where they can come and learn about what nature can provide. She is also working on classes where tourists can come take what she calls, a forest bath. It's an immersive retreat experience where people from all over can come and learn about the lifestyle and experience it firsthand. All donations for the cause will be greatly appreciated.

Kathryn E F Taylor

Moe Taylor
BrainDagger Films
+1 970-773-4579
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"Gelker in the Treehouse." New documentary from BrainDagger Films.